FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 12, 2020
No Muslim Ban Ever Coalition Responds to House Decision to Delay Vote on NO BAN Act
WASHINGTON, DC — Today, the U.S. House of Representatives removed from its calendar a scheduled vote on the National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants (NO BAN) Act. The legislation would immediately repeal prior versions of President Trump’s Muslim ban, including the most recent expanded ban that most heavily impacts Africans, one that specifically targets refugees, and one that targets asylum-seekers arriving at the border. It would also change immigration law to prohibit discrimination based on religion and limit the power of this administration or any future president to enact similar bans.
The decision to delay the vote comes as Congress is shifting its attention to a plan to respond to the COVID-19 virus. In response, the coalition’s anchor organizations released the following statements:
Marielena Hincapie, executive director at the National Immigration Law Center, says:
“After three years of Trump’s Muslim ban, we know that any delay furthers the harm done to Muslim-American families and communities who have already suffered significantly. We remain steadfast in our commitment to seeing the bill through in its complete, unaltered form. We urge members of Congress who have championed the bill and House leadership to continue to publicly commit to this as well. The Trump administration has demonstrated a reckless and cruel abuse of power by issuing bans that target Muslims, Africans, refugees, and asylum-seekers for the sole purpose of shutting out communities of color, fulfilling Trump’s signature and racist campaign promises. When our representatives return from recess, it is crucial that they make this a priority and immediately schedule a vote to pass the NO BAN Act. The time to act is now.”
Zahra Billoo, executive director of the San Francisco-Bay Area chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, states:
“Though disappointing, the delay in voting on the NO BAN Act will not undermine our work with our partners in Congress, the presidential campaigns, and grassroots communities to overcome Donald Trump’s bigoted immigration agenda. This has gone on far too long, separating families, slowing access to medical care, undercutting academic and professional opportunities, all while propagating xenophobia. We call on Congress to move quickly to reschedule this vote and pass the NO BAN Act. Our communities, their constituents, expect no less.”
Linda Sarsour, executive director of MPower Change, states:
“For years we’ve organized, shared our stories, and made sure our calls to repeal the ban were heard. From the moment the first Muslim ban was issued, to last month’s expansion, our Muslim and immigrant communities have continued to lead us all towards the passing of legislation that can repeal this racist ban once and for all. Despite today’s decision to delay the NO BAN Act vote, we will continue to build with House leadership to ensure it passes without any weakening amendments in the coming weeks, and we will continue to rally around those in our Muslim, immigrant, and African communities who face the burden of this horrific ban daily.”
Aarti Kohli, executive director representing Asian Americans Advancing Justice, states:
“While we applaud the efforts of House members supporting the NO BAN Act, let us not forget that with each passing day, families continue to be separated unjustly from their loved ones, those needing urgent medical care continue to suffer, and those fleeing persecution continue to be denied refuge. Our communities have waited long enough. Any delay in the House vote further deepens the suffering of our Muslim and immigrant communities. Conflating a public health concern with a xenophobic immigration policy only mirrors the very racism and Islamophobia the Muslim ban was premised on. It is critical that House members pass the NO BAN Act to stop the assault on our Muslim and immigrant neighbors as soon as possible. Separated families depend on it.”
About No Muslim Ban Ever Coalition (NMBE)
The #NoMuslimBanEver campaign, endorsed by over 200 organizations, represents a diverse community of Muslim, Arab, and South Asian organizations and allies in progressive, faith, immigrant, asylum, refugee, and civil rights sectors who came together in response to the Trump administration’s persistent efforts to ban individuals from Muslim-majority countries as part of its larger xenophobic, white nationalist agenda of exclusion. Please visit www.NoMuslimBanEver.com for more information.